Last year the swans did not breed in St Stephen's Green (Dublin). I missed them terribly so was thrilled to see a new family again this year. I always walk through the park on my way to work in the morning (I like it at that time when it has just opened and I have it almost to myself). This year I've been able to follow the progress of the little family as the cygnets have matured.
I kept forgetting to bring my camera with me after I first spotted them so I did not get any photos of the 'day old chick' stage. They cygnets were already a couple of weeks old before I eventually remembered to put the camera in my bag before I left for work.
They are such a wonderfully close-knit family unit. The two adult swans are perfect parents - constantly protective and devoted to their young.
I love the way they swim in formation - usually with one parent in the lead and one bringing up the rear.
It is like family life in microcosm and I can't help feeling sad because I know it is for such a limited time. Usually the park has either one adult swan or at most a breeding pair. I don't suppose the area is big enough to support increasing numbers of adult birds. When I watch them they seem so content and so much like a family in human terms. I know this little idyll will end soon - and that they are blissfully unaware of it.
This is quite a strange photo but I think it is quite effective so I decided to include it.
These last pictures were taken a couple of weeks ago. More and more white is starting to appear and the cygnets are almost full grown. They live such a charmed and cosseted life here. I hope when they are taken away that they end up somewhere equally as nice.
A bit of a gangly ballerina! Eventually this one figured out where its leg was supposed to go, but for a while it kept flapping it awkwardly across its back.
Shop sign with two swans at the top of Grafton Street near to the entrance of the park.